31 Days of Horror: Day 1
13 Eerie is a 2013 Canadian zombie horror film, helmed by first-time director Lowell Dean, about a group of forensic undergrads completing a university field exam on a deserted island. Unfortunately for the attractive young co-eds, the island was previously used for illegal biological experiments on life-term prisoners. Cue the mutant, flesh-eating zombies.
In the highly oversaturated zombie subgenre, it’s difficult to make a standout film that rises above the rest. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking here. While the film starts with an interesting premise, the plot is paper thin and formulaic. Plot points are exceedingly predictable, and seasoned horror fans will likely see them coming a mile away.
In spite of its shortcomings, 13 Eerie marks a solid debut for Dean, who manages to do quite a lot with very little. While the film lacks much real character development due to the flimsy script, the actors deliver respectable performances. The consistently captivating Katharine Isabelle shines, reinforcing her well-deserved scream queen status. The film also stars Michael Shanks, Brendan Fehr, Brendan Fletcher, Nick Moran, and the sadly underutilized Jesse Moss (who was so brilliant in Tucker and Dale vs Evil).
However, the real star of the film was the outstanding practical effects. The zombies look incredible, and the gore is plentiful. Delightfully over-the-top kills, complete with exploding heads and people getting impaled by garden tools, gave this film a very fun and nostalgic feel reminiscent of great ‘80s horror.
A quick warning that this film has one of those love it or hate it endings. I thought it was a fun and fitting finale. Others will walk away infuriated.
A predictable, but entertaining and well-paced zombie flick that makes up for a weak story with exceptional effects and old school gory fun. Definitely worth a watch.